Democracy's Fourth Wave?: Digital Media and the Arab Spring
Oxford University Press, Apr 4, 2013 - Business & Economics - 145 pages
In 2011, the international community watched as a shockingly unlikely community of citizens toppled three of the world's most entrenched dictators: Ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt, and Qaddafi in Libya. This movement of cascading democratization, commonly known as the Arab Spring, was planned and executed not by political parties, but by students, young entrepreneurs, and the rising urban middle class. International experts and the popular press have pointed to the near-identical reliance on digital media in all three movements, arguing that these authoritarian regimes were in essence defeated by the Internet. Is that true? Should Mubarak blame Twitter for his sudden fall from power? Did digital media "cause" the Arab Spring? In Democracy's Fourth Wave?, Philip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain examine the complex role of the Internet, mobile phones, and social networking applications in the Arab Spring. Examining digital media access, level of grievance, and levels of protest for popular democratization in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Howard and Hussain conclude that digital media was neither the most nor the least important cause of the Arab Spring. Instead, they illustrate a complex web of conjoined causal factors for social mobilization. The Arab revolts cascaded across countries largely because digital media allowed communities to realize shared grievances and nurtured transportable strategies for mobilizing against dictators. Individuals were inspired to protest for personal reasons, but through social media they acted collectively. Democracy's Fourth Wave examines not only the unexpected evolution of events during the Arab Spring, but the longer history of desperate-and creative-digital activism through the Arab world.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
1 Digital Media and the Arab Spring
2 The Recent History of Digital Media and Dissent
3 Information Infrastructure and the Organization of Protest
4 Authoritarian Responses and Consequences
5 Al Jazeera Social Media and Digital Journalism
Other editions - View all
action active activists Al Jazeera English Algeria AlJazeera Arab Spring Arab world arrested authoritarian regimes Bahrain bloggers blogosphere blogs Bouazizi broadcast media casualties censorship citizens civic civil society civil society groups civil society leaders country’s coverage democracy democratization developing diasporas digital media digital networks disconnect Egypt Egyptian elections Facebook global hashtags important incidents information infrastructure information technologies internet access internet service Islam Jazeera English journalists Libya major media systems Middle East mobile phones Morocco Mubarak Muslim Brotherhood North Africa offline online political organizations percent political actors political change political communication political parties population Regime Type region revolution role of digital ruling elites Saudi Arabia shut significant social media social movements social networking strategies street protests successful Syria Tahrir Square technology diffusion television tion Tunisia Tunisia and Egypt Tunisian blogosphere tweets Twitter unique users websites WikiLeaks Yemen YouTube